Show: March 4 - 7, 2019 | Exhibit March 5 - 7 | Atlanta, Georgia
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    Read More: Land & LIVE Action Items
    August 13, 2018

    When things change during a flight and a pilot begins to reassess the wisdom of continuing the flight and whether or not to make a precautionary landing, there are a number of steps the pilot may want to consider.

    Step 1. Commit to Land & LIVE

    If your gut says land, listen! Then commit to a precautionary landing and do it.

    Step 2. Assess Level of Urgency

    If you are concerned but there is no imminent danger, your best choice may be to select the nearest (NRST) airport on your GPS and proceed to the nearest aviation facility.

    Practice and become familiar with this procedure. Make sure your GPS is not set to filter out small or private airports or heliports. Reaching an airport, even a private-use one, is a better choice than landing off site, as long as the situation does not worsen.

    But understand your situation can quickly become more urgent.

    If there is real or perceived imminent danger in continuing flight, proceed to Step 3.

    Step 3. Choose Spot to Land

    Most of the time, a helicopter pilot who needs to land as soon as practicable has a number of options available. Use these priorities when selecting a landing area:

    • Safety of approach and landing
    • Survival of persons on board once on the ground (don’t assume you will have the ability to take off again)
    • Safety of persons on the ground
    • Ground accessibility for aircraft repairs and personnel egress and ingress

    Step 4. Land & LIVE

    An off-site precautionary landing will involve varying degrees of additional stress beyond those of a normal landing at the intended landing site. Remember to do the following:

    • Alert air traffic control or your company of your intent, if possible. Remember that cell or text service may not be available in the landing area.
    • Slow down and steepen the approach.
    • Be aware that engine cooldowns are NOT a limitation. If you land with people around, shut down IMMEDIATELY.
    • You have exercised good judgment. Stand by your decision.

    Read More: The Pilot's Responsibility for Safety
    August 13, 2018

    By U.S. federal regulation, pilots are the final authority regarding the safety of flight.

    14 CFR 91.3(a) The pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to, the operation of that aircraft.

    14 CFR 91.3(b) In an in-flight emergency requiring immediate action, the pilot in command may dviate from any rule of this part to the extent required to meet that emergency.

    14 CFR 135.19(b) In an emergency involving the safety of persons or property, the pilot in command may deviate from the rules of this part to the extent required to meet that emergency.

    The bottom line is that no one — not the pilot’s employer, not air traffic control, not even the FAA — can overrule a pilot’s safety decision. The pilot might have to justify his decision after the fact, but during a flight, only the pilot can decide if and when it’s necessary to make a precautionary landing.

    Read More: Relevant Aviation Regulations
    August 13, 2018

    Canada

    Aeronautics Act, Section 3.1 Definitions: “Pilot-in-command” means, in relation to an aircraft, the pilot having responsibility and authority for the operation and safety of the aircraft during flight time.

    Aeronautics Act, Section 8.5 No person shall be found to have contravened a provision of this Part or any regulation, notice, order, security measure or emergency direction made under this Part if the person exercised all due diligence to prevent the contravention.

    CAR 602.31(3)(a)(b) The pilot-in-command of an aircraft may deviate from an air traffic control clearance or an air traffic control instruction to the extent necessary to carry out a collision avoidance manoeuvre, where the manoeuvre is carried out (a) in accordance with a resolution advisory generated by an Airborne Collision Avoidance System (ACAS) or a Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS); or (b) in response to a warning from a Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS) on board the aircraft.

    CAR Standard 725.20 (v) Once a flight has commenced, the final decision on any changes to the Operational Flight Plan shall be taken by the pilot-in-command based on considerations of safety.

    European Union

    Basic Regulation 216/2008, Annex IV, 7c. The pilot in command must have the authority to give all commands and take any appropriate actions for the purpose of securing the operation and the safety of the aircraft and of persons and/or property carried therein.

    Basic Regulation 216/2008, Annex IV, 7d. In an emergency situation, which endangers the operation or the safety of the aircraft and/or persons on board, the pilot in command must take any action he/she considers necessary in the interest of safety. When such action involves a violation of local regulations or procedures, the pilot in command must be responsible for notifying the appropriate local authority without delay.

    Japan

    (In Japan, the exemption is not written in aviation law, but in the penal code)
    Article 37 (1) An act unavoidably performed to avert a present danger to the life, body, liberty or property of oneself or any other person is not punishable only when the harm produced by such act does not exceed the harm to be averted; provided, however, that an act causing excessive harm may lead to the punishment being reduced or may exculpate the offender in light of the circumstances.

    United States of America

    14 CFR 91.3(b) In an in-flight emergency requiring immediate action, the pilot in command may deviate from any rule of this part to the extent required to meet that emergency.

    14 CFR 135.19(b) In an emergency involving the safety of persons or property, the pilot in command may deviate from the rules of this part to the extent required to meet that emergency.